Six Poëmes Hongrois for Violin & Piano, Op.27
Jenö Hubay (1858-1937) was born in Budapest. He studied violin first with his father, concertmaster and conductor of the orchestra at the National Theater, and violin professor of the National Conservatory. Subsequently he studied with Joseph Joachim in Berlin. In 1878, upon the recommendation of Franz Liszt, he moved to Paris where he quickly established himself a leading concert artist. For many years he toured throughout Europe. When the famous violin virtuoso, Vieuxtemps, heard him, he saw in Hubay the continuation of his own artistry and recommended him for the prestigious position of Professor of Violin at the Brussels Conservatoire, a post which he himself and more recently Wieniawski had held. Hubay held the position from 1886-90 after which he settled in Budapest and exchanged his life as a traveling virtuoso for that of composer and teacher, eventually serving as the Director of the Budapest Academy of Music from 1919-34. Many famous violinists numbered among his students, including Stefi Geyer, Ferenc Vecsey, Jozsef Szigeti, Emil Telmanyi, Eddy Brown, Jelly Aranyi, and Jeno (Eugene) Ormandy. A fine string quartet player (Brahms preferred his quartet to any other), Hubay trained many famous string quartets, such as the Waldbauer-Kerpely, the Lener, the Roth and the Vegh.
The Op.27 Six Poems Hongrois date from 1890 and are based on an assortment of Hungarian folk songs. They can be performed individually as encores or all together as a cycle. When performed as a whole, they evoke the same mood as his famous Scenes de la Csarda. (Tavern scenes). The first and last achieved great popularity and Hubay himself often performed them as encores. The first, Adagio, has the typical Hungarian improvisational style. It was based on Elemar Szentirmay’s song There is only one beautiful girl in the world. The sixth, based on the folk melody Little Cart, Big Cart, was used by Brahms (Hungarian Dance No.19) and Bartok.
Once a staple of the recital repertoire, especially for use as encores, these works have been unavailable for many years now. It is our hope that they will be received with favor by violinists everywhere.